The information here is designed as a guide for purchasing. It is worthy of
note that despite size information, clothing fits can vary from style to style within any manufacturer and they can vary between manufacturers.
The only sure fire method of establishing the fit of a garment is to try it on.
Getting the RIGHT Fit and Fashion Faux Pas.
The idea is to blend in, not look like a drag queen or a Friday night street walker. Of course if that is your intent, then you go for it Muffin. Just be prepared for the consequences. If it isn't a PRIDE event, it isn't likely to be a good idea. If you aren't 18 don't try to look like it! Dress age appropriate and with conservative styles and you will blend fairly easily. Dress for the circumstances. Business wear for the office and casual dining etc. Casual wear for weekends and formal for just that. I know of one girl who wore a gown to an after wedding breakfast! Uhhh no! In other words, use some common sense and dress for the occasion.
So let's start with the obvious. NO PANTY LINES! EVER!!! VPL's are just crass. The same for bra lines. Eeewww!
Blouses and tops should have the shoulders about 1" wider than your natural shoulder and your arms should have full freedom of movement. Jackets should be another inch wider. Sleeves should be to your wrist bone and jacket sleeves should show about a half inch of your blouse sleeve. Jackets should never be pulled tight and buttons on blouses should never be pulled to gape open between the buttons.
If you are going to buy something striped, be careful. Horizontal stripes can look good on a thin girl who is long in the torso. Otherwise stick to vertical. If you are slender a diagonal will work too.
Skirts should be loose enough that you can turn them around easily. If you cant, get a larger size. Pleats and slits should never be pulled to open. Straight/pencil skirts (or any skirt for that matter) should fall evenly from your hips and buttocks and never "curl" back in. Always check the seams on the skirt. A 5 or 6 gore skirt (a gore is a panel) will have a specific position for wear and that doesn't mean the tag will always be at the back. You may have a seam at the back but NEVER at the front. Panels over your hips should match. Keep a careful eye on this one. (I have a 5 gore chiffon skirt that worn correctly is pretty and flowing. Turned slightly it looks terrible.)
Collars and lapels should sit flat. Pockets should never gape or be stretched. The same for frilly collars like those on a peasant blouse. They are cute but need to be away from the neck and lay flat. They will draw attention away from your neck and that is a good thing.
Jeans and slacks are no different in regards to the rules for fit. The cut may be a form fit but that doesn't allow you to get away with gaping or stretched pockets. Form fit doesn't mean they hug your bottom; it means they should rest on your buttocks with no gathering and fall freely from there. Leg lengths should be with a 2" heel and the hem of the pant leg should fall to your heel. AND leave the jeans with skin tight legs to the tweenies.
Belts worn as a style accessory should be worn loose over your top and ride on your upper hips. The wider and flashier the belt the more bold is the fashion statement. If you want to create illusions then use tops that are worn outside your jeans or skirts, and don't forget that belt I just mentioned. Look for shaped or loose fits that flare outward at the bottom. Another figure enhancing trick is to wear a waist cincher. It will likely take about 2 inches off your waist (and some of these cinchers are really cute for after hours). You can buy padded undies of course and they will help but normally you shouldn't need them.
Today we are seeing a resurgence of the Empire waist (hooray!). The waist line is under the bust and it flares outward from there. They are pretty, flowing and very deceiving. Excellent for hiding that lack of curve and especially that mature tummy. They resemble a maternity top and can be found in tops and dresses. They are usually very flattering and flowing, Very feminine.
If you have a low cut top such as a scoop neck, a pretty camisole worn underneath can be very appealing and add a touch of class. Just be careful here. A lace camisole worn this way with a printed top will be not so pretty. A solid colour top is best. If you are using a printed top then look toward a plain tank top underneath. Stick with basic black, white or beige.
Showing your pretty lace bra is a no no as well. You
might like it but most other people don't want to see it even if it did cost you $150 from a French lingerie boutique. These
are good under heavier clothing and sweaters. For summer and warm weather, look for something that has no seams to show.
Okay dear, colour coordinate not match; save money while increasing your wardrobe flexibility. You can reduce the size of your wardrobe while increasing the options for wear under different circumstances. Don't mix warm (reds, yellows, oranges etc) and cool colours (greens, blues etc.) Neutral earth tones are always in style as is black and dark navy. Whites can be classy too but in moderation; as in accent. Look at your skin tone before deciding which colours are best. A good way to decide is hold a red top on one shoulder and a blue one on the other. See the effect on your facial colouring and go with the shades that are most flattering. If you have pale colouring you are likely to want warm tones (reds, pinks etc.) With a darker complexion you will likely want cooler colours. Still watch the tones of the colours that they don't overwhelm your complexion. Once the makeup is on they can make a good makeup job look hideous.
Summertime. Sunshine and blue skies and short shorts and bikinis. NOT! Face it hon., you probably haven't got the figure unless you are really lucky. Capri's are always good as are mid thigh length shorts or longer. Stick to a one piece swimsuit although a tankini is also a good choice. Of course if you have a private yard, then go for the tanning with whatever; just not on the beach. Sleeveless tops look great on a girl who hasn't got thick upper arms and/or wide shoulders. You need to, look for flutter or short sleeves. Flat sandals and open toes are good. Heels are not unless you are at a wedding or other similar dress up event; and that goes for wedge sandals too. Think about your height. Look toward pastel colours for the best effect.
The Basic Wardrobe.
It is the whole package that counts not the individual pieces. This is often the mistake made by both genders. They will see a top they like without consideration of the effect on the entire presentation. If it all works together it will be very classy. If one piece sticks out well you might as well put a sign on your forehead that says "Welcome to the burbs, my trailer is over here."
Getting the Sizes.
The first place anyone has to start is with the height charts. The fit of a garment is very closely related to height.
While these sizes are generally accurate, the primary differences are lengths. For instance the inseam on a petite size pair of jeans is 29" while a regular size is 33" and all other measurements will be the same. One of the reasons these sizes are so different is that women's inseams are measured with shoes having a 2 to 3 inch heel while men's sizes are measured in stocking feet. Look at where your height is; in the legs or torso. It will affect your buying decisions.
The next consideration is the designed fit of the garment. A form fit will look great on a teen or twenty something but as weight increases the fit is tighter and of course will not look as good. Shaped or loose fits are usually required for the transwoman.
Lastly the size charts themselves. These can vary as I said before so they can only be relied upon to be a rough guide. The chances are that in order to get proper fits your clothing will have to be altered.
It is worth noting that EUROPEAN, ASIAN AND BRITISH SIZES ARE SMALLER than US and Canadian sizes by at least a full size. CHECK THE LABEL! Some house brands carried by major dept. store chains are often European sizing. Be careful.
Taking Measurements: Always keep the tape level. If you can get someone to take the measurements for you, so much the better.
Bust. With your bra on, measure over the cup and around your back.
Waist. Find the natural waist and measure.
High Hip: This is taken over your hip bones. (Also known as low waist)
Low Hip: This is taken at the largest size of your abdomen and hips.
Torso: This is measured from the center of your shoulder, over the cup of your bra, through the crotch and back up to the beginning. This measurement is primarily used for one piece swimsuits etc.
Dresses, skirts, slacks, jeans, tops etc.
Regular Sizes (Regular or Misses Fits)
|Bust||33||34||35||36||37||38 1/2||40||41 1/2||43 1/2|
|Waist||25||26||27||29||29||30 1/2||32||33 1/2||35 1/2|
|Low Hip||36||37||38||39||40||41 1/2||43||44 1/2||46 1/2|
|Torso (Regular)||57 1/4||58 1/2||59 3/4||61||62 1/4||63 1/2||64 3/4||66||67 1/4|
Plus Sizes (Full Figure)
|Bust||43 1/2||45 1/2||47 1/2||49 1/2||51 1/2|
|Torso (Regular)||67||68 1/2||70||71 1/2||73|
Misses sizing (2,4,6 etc) are normal (regular) sizes measured for an average length and torso. Junior sizes (1,3,5 etc) are sizes that fall between the Misses sizes however they have a shorter back and torso similar to a petite size. Juniors are generally a more form fit than a Misses size. Half sizes also have shorter back to waist lengths similar to a petite. To list all the variations of sizes here would be impossible as I said before, but these charts should provide a reasonable starting point.
This too can be a nightmare but usually most girls have figured out their sizes already.
Let's start by simply saying this. All the girls love their girls. The trouble is they love them so much they make themselves look hideously out of proportion. Generally a B cup is enough to provide contour and for larger girls, a C cup would be in order. If you definitely want to get clocked then go for the gold of a DD or larger. Guaranteed to get the attention you are trying to avoid. Again, look at what you will be wearing over your bra, and the season. Dont forget a lace bra is cute but will pucker light materials. A formed cup bra will often add to the appearance of size.
Band size should be your rib cage measurement then go up one size. For instance if your ribcage measures at 37 then you will buy a 38 band or even a 40. Remember there is some adjustment here but not a whole lot. What you don't want is to have the band digging in and skin overhanging it. Go up a size if that is the case. Believe me, it WILL be noticeable. The band size is the smallest adjustment on the bra.
Filling your bra can be done any number of ways that can cost from a few dollars
to hundreds of dollars. Don't waste your money. Most good lingerie boutiques sell enhancers for around $50 that work very
well. They are simply silicone in a bag something like the surgeon uses for breast augmentation. If you want you can spend
hundreds on asymmetrical breast forms either online or from a store serving the TG community. The real question is why?
Oh right, you want your nipples to poke out.. just what the genetic girl wants to avoid. Silly me.
Of course, if you are on hormones and have your own, then take your time and get it right. You will find that even within one manufacturer, the construction of the cups can and will significantly alter your appearance. (I spent hundreds on "cheap" bras before I finally bought a high end designer one that fit perfectly. My bestie on the other hand, did the opposite. It can be a crap shoot.)
Bra Fit Problems
|Sides digging in.||Get a wider band or increase the band size|
|Sagging||Get a bra with more support, avoid stretchy fabrics or shorten the straps.|
|Back riding up||Tighten the band or loosen the straps|
|Straps dig in||Get a bra with wider or padded straps. Try loosening the straps|
|Sides too tight||Get a bra with spandex sides or increase the band size|
|Straps falling||Get a bra where the straps angle more toward your spine or, a cross strap (convertible) bra. This is often a problem with fit. Solve it and the whole world changes for you.|
Here again, style can influence size and fit. Skimpy might look cute but if you are falling out then it isn't so cute... or comfy. Tried adjusting yourself in public while wearing a skirt or dress? Not pretty. Which washroom to use?
Thongs and G-strings can be super comfy but you need to make sure they are made of microfiber or you will have problems. Usually you need to buy these on or one size larger than a bikini type panty. However, they aren't for everybody nor are they comfy 24/7.
|Size||36 (S)||39 (M)||42 (L)||46 (XL)||50 (2XL)||54 (3XL)||58 (4XL)|
|Hip Size||34 - 36||37 -39||40 -42||43 -46||47 -50||51 -54||55 - 58|
Additionally, some US manufacturers use a single number sizing just to confuse things even more.
|Hip Size||33 - 35||36 - 38||39 - 41||42 - 44||45 - 47||48 - 50||51 - 53||54 - 56|
Slips usually follow sizes for dresses and skirts.
Women's shoe sizes are about 1 to 1 1/2 sizes smaller than men's but the big difference is in width. Women's shoes are a standard B width and men's are a standard D width. You need to buy wide width shoes. So if you wear an 8 1/2 to 9 you will have to buy a 9 1/2 Wide in women's. Again, style and fit dont always mix. Go for comfort. Cute sandals with 4 " heels might look good but after several hours on your feet...
Heels might look great but they can also put a lot of stress on your feet. Additionally you cant walk in them like normal shoes. You need short steps and to put your foot down toes first, or toes and heel together. Don't do it and well; can we say possible broken ankles? Be conservative here with a 2 1/2 or 3 inch heel. If you are already 5 foot 8 this is going to make you one very tall girl at 5 foot 11. If you want to look like a hooker then go for 5 inch heels. You will get plenty of attention.
Buy according to the sizes on the package or even one size larger.
Your jewellery should be understated as an accessory not something to grab attention. Of course if you want people to see your Adam's apple or thick neck... Equally distracting is using bracelets that are very fine if you have heavy wrists. In other words, think about being somewhere in the middle.
Here you can get bold with wide belts, scarves and the likes. They can really set off an outfit making it go from nice to great. Don't be shy, but don't get gaudy either. Classy works best.
Overall, understated fashion will serve you the best. If you want to draw attention to yourself then go outside the box with a 12 inch skirt and 5 inch heels. Buy that cropped tight tee to go with your low rise jeans and expose your tummy. People will see what you want them to see. If you don't want to get clocked but blend in, then don't draw attention to yourself.
For the Boys
You guys have it much easier.
Shirts sized S-M-L are generally sized similar to women's sizes 8, 12, 16, 18 etc. The torso fits are generally loose. Where they are numerically sized, it is by neck measurement and sleeve length (Measured from the center of the shoulder to the cuff). If you are binding, take your measurements over the binder.
Slacks and jeans etc are sized by waist measurement and inseam. Inseam measurements should be taken in stocking feet without shoes. If the option is available, you will likely have to buy a relaxed fit. If not, you will be in for some alterations.
Suits are generally measured by chest size, then as Short, Regular or Tall. You should never buy a suit without being fitted or having it altered.
Underwear sizes correspond to Women's sizes.
Shoes are approximately 1 1/2 sizes smaller and you will need a narrow (B) width.
WOW! That is an easy one isn't it? Kind of explains why the guys can go into a store, get what they want or need, and be out in 15 minutes. They just dont understand women's issues with clothing sizes.